If a debt collector is constantly breathing down your neck, it is simply how they try to collect their debt from you in a timely manner. It can range from irritating, to borderline illegal. With that being said, it is important to know how to handle pesky debt collectors and choose the most logical way for you to take care of your debt.
There are three unwritten rules when dealing with debt collectors:
1- Do not cave in to them right away.
Making a payment is just like reading over a contract; don’t make your move until you think things through. You debt collector may pressure you to pay them right away, but don’t. Take some time to know what your options are towards debt recovery in the Netherlands.
Debt collectors will take advantage of people who dread being in debt, because they make it urgent for you to have to pay something towards it. Your collector doesn’t care how much you owe, as long as you pay something right away.
Until you learn more about your situation, do not pay, do not agree to pay, and do not share any payment information that the collector could take and use later. Ask for information about the debt and tell them you can discuss your debt at a later time.
2- Gather the information.
Shady debt collection practices are the number one complaint among debt owners from around the world. The most common reason is that these owners have to pay debts that they did not even owe.
If you owe a collector money, ask them for a validation letter if you do not receive one within one week of the time you are notified that you owe them money. This letter must include details about the debt, the collection firm, and how the debt can be challenged.
You should also gather your own documentation on the debt, if you know for sure that it belongs to you. What you should specifically look for is information on the primary creditor and your history of past payments.
Keep data on the communication with your debt collector. Include every single letter, email, text conversation, and phone call. Paper mail is usually the best documentation for you to use as reference. Do not delete or throw away any letters or conversations from your collector.
3- Protect your rights.
If you feel like you are being stalked, threatened, or harassed by a debt collector, you should be aware that you have rights as a consumer that should shield you from predatory debt collection practices.
When it comes to your debt collector communicating with you, you have the power to determine when and how often a particular debt collector can contact you. You can even order them to stop contacting you entirely, so long as you send this order out to them in writing. Debt collectors are prohibited from using acts of violence or cussing at you.
Debt collectors must be honest and professional with you. They should not lie to you about how much money you owe or the legal ramifications if your debt is not paid. So they have no right or authority to arrest you for not paying a debt.
If there is debt that you feel you do not owe, you can challenge the debt within 30 days of the debt being issued. The collector cannot demand a payment from you until the dispute is closed.
If you need help with debt recovery in the Netherlands, just remember that you have a plethora of professional assistance right at your fingertips.